In the hustle and bustle of the city, it can feel like nature is far away, but there are still places right at the heart of the city to find greenery and tranquility. Hidden urban parks are often tucked away gems, spots of respite off the beaten track and away from the hubbub of the city. For adventurers who explore beyond the obvious, there are some truly special places that await.
1. Discovering Nature in the Concrete Jungle
Living within the hustle and bustle of the urban landscape can often lead to us feeling disconnected from nature. But with a little exploration, it is possible to discover pockets of nature, even in a concrete jungle.
- Visit a Local Park
While some places in the city may feel too intimidating or overwhelming to explore, a local park is a great place to start. From petite parks with a single tree to sprawling landscapes that invite picnickers and joggers, visiting a park to relax and observe can be an instant connection back to nature.
- Watch Wildlife
A quick walk around the neighborhood can easily reveal wildlife mulling about. Whether it’s a family of squirrels munching on their daily treat or a flock of birds chirping from a nearby rooftop, catching sight of wildlife adds to the beauty of city life.
- Grow a Garden
Having a personal garden in the city has never been easier with hanging balcony and window gardens! Even without this space, a few potted plants in a windowsill or a carefully curated succulent box is a simple and creative way to bring a touch of nature indoors.
- Check Out Local Farmer’s Markets
These days, many cities across the world have farmer’s markets brimming with seasonal produce. Visiting local farmer’s markets is an enjoyable way to support local businesses and understand the natural cycles of the city. From flowers and herbs to homemade jams and seasonal vegetables, these markets offer a unique perspective on the power of mother nature.
Living within the city landscape does not have to be seen as an obstacle between us and nature. With a little exploration, it is possible to feel reconnected with the beauty of nature.
2. Exploring the Hidden Parks of the City
Meandering Thru Mysterious Parks
The city that never sleeps, full of hustle and bustle and bright lights. It would be easy to assume all its parks and areas of vibrance are visible and highly trafficked; but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The same metropolis that is overflowing with life is also home to lesser-known gardens of tranquility that require a bit of extra searching to find. Let’s forget the tourists’ spots for a minute and take a look around some of the hidden parks of the city.
Vance Park is one of the city’s hidden gems, located in an often overlooked area of the city, this small piece of green offers a lush spot for a peaceful stroll. The pathway leads to a small man-made pond, providing a perfect spot for a bit of reflection.
Gates Park brings a unique futuristic vibe to the city. Despite its prime location, this park goes unnoticed most days and is sure to surprise any visitors. Stepping into the park, you couldn’t help but feel transported to another era with its monochrome pathways, sharp lines and low tech elements.
Cottonwood Park brings an unexpected twist to the city’s parks; it pops with colour and activity! This park is home to many of the city’s performances and would be an ideal spot for visitors to feel the local spirit.
Mason Hill Park is the perfect place to stroll and escape the hustle and bustle of the city without leaving it. The park is filled with beautiful trees and nature, providing peaceful respite for the locals. This unique park also houses a few horticulture experiments, offering a peaceful spot to watch a unique combination of modern experiments and nature thrive.
- Vance Park
- Gates Park
- Cottonwood Park
- Mason Hill Park
Those that seek an alternate experience while exploring the city limits should check out these intriguing hidden gems and bask in the contrast these parks provide compared to the more known green parks of the city. Secluded, yet lively, each hidden park offers something different and will be sure to surprise anyone that takes the time to explore.
3. Finding Peace in the Chaos: Urban Oases
Urban living can be both a blessing and a curse. For many, the hustle and bustle of city life can become overwhelming. But there are many ways that can be found to find peace in cities. Taking the time to enjoy the beauty of the city, as well as intentionally seeking out oases of calm within it, can help us to find tranquillity.
This can be done in a variety of ways, and some of the most calming are:
- Taking a walk along rivers or canals in cities
- Discovering a new park or area of green space
- Exploring local plant and nature markets
- Visiting urban roof top gardens
By taking the time to explore and discover beauty in your own city, you can tap into a sense of peace and rest. Rivers and canals have a very calming effect due to the sound of the water running, and they often bring a great deal of flora and fauna to explore. Parks, plant markets, and urban gardens provide an atmosphere of calm, allowing you to find a little corner of serenity.
This peace can also be found in smaller events that can often be overlooked. Try leaving a window open for a few minutes, allowing the sounds of the city to wash over you. Or, take a short break to people-watch or enjoy the sight of birds flying around the city. No matter what kind of city you live in, there are always opportunities to find peace in the chaos.
These are just a few of the ways that can help to find peace within the city. By taking the time to search for the beauty that the urban environment offers, we can bring a calming and tranquil atmosphere into our lives.
4. Natures’ Refuges: Enjoying the City with a Green Twist
In a city, nature can often seem far away. Bright lights and towering buildings give way to smoggy skies and crowded concrete. But every city has oases of natural beauty to escape to. Head to one of these spots to reconnect with nature and enjoy a “green twist” on your urban break.
1. Parks and Gardens
City parks and gardens are often a haven for local wildlife. From vibrant flower beds, to winding paths and lush green spaces, these are the ideal spots to relax and take a break from the city. Major cities often have elaborate gardens with beautiful ponds, landscaped gardens and well curated displays. In the US, Central Park in New York is an iconic spot, while in London, Hyde Park is an oasis of calm.
2. River Walks
Water is the great leveller, slicing its way through cities, making it the perfect spot to go for a walk and get close to nature. Many cities have rivers and canals to explore, so don your walking shoes and enjoy the city from a different angle. Paddling in a kayak or exploring on foot gives you a chance to spot some of the native wildlife that call the rivers home. The city of Porto has a picturesque river walk.
3. Urban Farms
For an up-close-and-personal look at nature, visit an urban farm. Local community farms are popping up in more and more cities, providing a space for people to learn about food production while connecting with nature. Grow your own produce, support local farmers and learn more about food production. Or just take the time to appreciate the beauty of nature in an urban setting. Detroit is home to the incredible Earthworks urban farm.
4. Roof Terraces and Green Spaces
Surrounding nature can be found even in the smaller spots. Look for roof terraces or balconies that offer views of the city, instead of an overcrowded street scene. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot your own patch of paradise, with mini garden pathways, plenty of plant life, and a peaceful atmosphere. Or visit one of the many “wild” green spaces hidden amongst the skyscrapers. The High Line in New York is an example of this.
Escape into nature without ever leaving the city! Whether you take a stroll to explore hidden Italian-style gardens or take a peaceful morning run in the park, the hidden urban parks in the city give you the perfect opportunity to relax and restore those well-deserving moments of respite. So, unearth your inner adventurer and explore the hidden gems that await you!